During the last 6 months starting from a digital word by word comparison of A3h and the current 2001-text of The Hobbit, I built a pretty huge spreadsheet checking a list of almost 200 precise passages in different editions I own (books and e-books)* and in The History of The Hobbit.

The purpose is to find out errors and editorial choices worth discussing in the current 2011-text of the book (and its editions, for example there are many errors in the 2009 epub). There are a few of them. With this table I’m also able to say where a different version of the text could have crept in.

An example of a clear error is in § 01.092 «[...] the poor little hobbit could be seen kneeling on the hearth-rug, shaking like a jelly [...]». That word wasn’t hyphenated - hearthrug - in any edition (and neither in the “Pryftan Fragment” nor in the “Bladorthin Typescript”, see HH pp. 8 and 39) until the hardback third editions A3i (and A3m) and A3j [p. 25] where the word is hyphenated because it's broken in two lines hearth-¶rug (that word is broken also on the american A3g paperback, p. 29, but not on the british one A3h where as it’s in the middle of the line, it’s not hyphenated, see p.16). From the setting of the hardcover third editions, all the following editions, and the current 2001 text as well, carried wrongly the hyphenated word also in the middle of lines.

For completeness, I’m asking your help to check few of this point (even if not related to the current text) in editions I don’t own. It will be appreciated :D

A) 2 differences between 1st and 2nd edition: I need to check the 2nd, 3rd and 4th impressions.

It’s known that in the 3rd and 4th impressions of the 1st edition some changes were made and new errors crept in. Using my list I found two differences, unknown to me, between the 1st and the 2nd edition, so I was wondering if those first appeared in the 2nd edition or in one of the impressions of the 1st one.

§ 01.094 A3a, p. 27, «[...] that he could ride a horse.» > A3c «[...] that he could rise a horse.» (A3h has rise as well)

§ 03.024 A3a, p. 61, «“Supper is preparing over there,” he said.» > A3c «“supper is preparing over there,” he said.» (A3g and A3h have supper as well)

B) Relevant editions I don’t own (yet)

This is a longer job: there are some editions I’d like to add to the table (for completeness) that might be relevant that I don’t currently own. If you have few hours to spare in the coming weeks I can give you all the material and instruction necessary to check the list on these editions:

[not a priority] A3b : american 1st hardcover edition flautist impressions to check if it’s exactly the same typeset as it should be, the bowing hobbit should be a photograph reproduction of the british editions.

A3o : de luxe 1976 edition (it should be identical to A3bb super de luxe 1987)

A3u : second Folio 1979

A3dd/A3ee : first annotated edition 1988


Books:
A3a (facsimile),A3c, A3d, A3e, A3f, A3g, A3h, A3i, A3j, A3m, A3n, A3n (revised), A3r, A3s, A3v;
5th 1995 HC hardcover, 5th 1998 CM paperback, 5th 2001 HM (current text);
2003 annotated, 2006 HC pb, 2007 HC hc, 2011 HC pocket, 2011 HC pb, 2020 HC hc.

E-books: 2009 HC epub, 2011 HC epub enhanced.